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Can diabetes be a gateway disease to other conditions?

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When the body isn't fueled by the proper macro and micronutrients, it becomes vulnerable to disease.

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases people live with. While type I diabetes shows up in people who cannot produce insulin, type II diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. In many cases, this response occurs when the body has succumbed to other unhealthy habits that can lead to other diseases in time.

Diabetes as a gateway disease

When the body isn't fueled by the proper macro and micronutrients, it becomes a conduit for disease. While it's no secret that one of the primary causes of type II diabetes is unhealthy eating due to consistently elevated sugar levels. Eating too many sweets and not enough vegetables can also catalyze other deadly and debilitating diseases, such as cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

So, how can you improve your eating habits to lower your chances of exhibiting disease (and possibly even reverse type II diabetes)?

  • Eat everything in moderation. We're not saying you need to give up cookies and cakes entirely, but you don't need to eat them every day, either. Remember: dessert can be healthy! Instead of a brownie sundae, try some fresh, organic fruit served with plain Greek yogurt and some whole-grain granola. Or maybe opt for an apple dipped in natural peanut butter. These foods are sweet, just like candy and pie, but they are much healthier options that will help your body get the nutrients it needs.
  • Eat plenty of fiber. Fiber is so much more important than the average American understands. Getting enough fiber slows down our digestion, ensuring a properly regulated and healthy digestive tract. What's more, it will also give you sustained energy for longer because it breaks down the food we eat, which will help keep your blood sugar levels stable instead of spiked.
  • Don't forget your vegetables! Antioxidants are some of the best micronutrients we can intake, mainly because they fight free-radicals. These cancer-fighting nutrients are crucial to a healthy diet, and there are plenty of them located in fresh fruits and vegetables! Vegetables, however, have much less sugar than fruit, so while eating some fruits is okay — and even essential — vegetables are the only food we can eat as much as we want without consequence. Load up on all the vitamins and disease-fighting properties leafy greens have to offer with a wide variety of these foods and enjoy the healthy lifestyle they will promote!

Type II diabetes is a gateway disease. It can serve as one of the first signs that your body is in dire need of change. There is a direct correlation between disease and poor nutrition, so if you find you're prediabetic or fighting type II diabetes, it might be time to speak with your doctor and consider a change in eating habits.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we initiated Sinclair Cares. Every month we'll bring you information about the "Cause of the Month," including topical information, education, awareness, and prevention. November is American Diabetes Month.